The Daily Treat: Rescued Sea Turtle Now Swimming in Vegas
10/10/2013 AT 11:15 AM EDT
The 320-lb. creature, who was rescued in 2008 after falling ill in the Florida Keys, was placed in his permanent home at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Monday.
The approximately 50-year-old sea turtle settled into the hotel's 1.3 million gallon Shipwreck Exhibit, where he is currently getting chummy with two additional green sea turtles and 22 other species, including sharks, rays, fish and more. Thanks to a plane chartered by FedEx in July, OD flew from his temporary home at a turtle hospital in Marathon, Fla., to Las Vegas and spent his summer vacation in a quarantine facility.
The aquarium hopes OD's presence there will inspire visitors to learn about conservation. "Shark Reef Aquarium guests can visit OD while learning about the turtle's wild habitat and the impacts humans have on endangered green sea turtles," said Adrienne Rowland, director of the aquarium. "We are honored to offer OD a permanent home and are committed to creating an enriching environment for his continued health."